"It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume...that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
My only complaint to the above quote is, it doesn't go far enough. Amerikan courts are so corrupt today, no feverish search is needed, they just throw in whatever charge they want and put you in jail (it's profitable to boot).
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, our entire system is so corrupt as to be beyond salvage. We need to clean house entirely.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    For example, the IRS has a term for taxpayers, they call us "inventory". H.L. has it exactly right.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    A really good example is airport security--if you don't feel like a criminal before you fly, they can certainly make you feel like one and appear to be one to your fellow travelers. If only Americans were a little more intelligent and a little less trusting of all bureaucracies, then we wouldn't be in the mess we are now. I've had my experiences there and with the justice system and until you do don't understand that "Innocent until proven guilty" is not how they look at you---you are and always will be in all their eyes: "Guilty until proven otherwise!"
     -- Joy, Papillion, NE     
    Bureaucracies are the entitlement of sloth, ignorance, and indifference. I agree with Carlton - bring in the brooms... We should do what Iceland is doing and create a new constitution but this time written by the people from all walks of life, class, ages, equal gender, etc. 500 (with full biographies) are given equal air time in all the media and then the people vote on those they wish to write their constitution. Talk about thinking out of the box. Also Copenhagen is creating a super highway for cyclists. America is falling behind in EVERY way. We should do away with all political party names as they have been totally bastardized by the media, the politicians and the people. We should create three or five main party's and call the One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.
     -- RBESRQ     
    RBE...What you describe might be described as a "Republic" ;)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    To Clarify...5 parties would be sufficient to freeze government. It certainly has in S. Africa where they have 8 or 9 and as many official languages. I'd be for anything that shuts down the encroachment of a controlling government into every aspect of our lives.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Describes the TSA, IRS, DEA, FDA, and federal courts perfectly. Joy, how does your comment today relate to your previous comment stating that socialism "is the only government that is TRULY Of the people, By the people and FOR the people"? Socialism is nothing but bureaucracies making rules for everyone else to follow! The TSA is a truly socialist/fascist agency! These are ALL aspects of socialism -- you are either for freedom and responsibility or for socialism and obedience to the state -- you can't have both.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Does my pizza come with socialism and not capitalism?
     -- Anonymous     
    Archer, socialism is the opposite of fascism. Do you ever look up definitions?
     -- dick, Fort Worth     
    dick, I look up definitions (original and current). Fascism (corporatism) is an administrative form of socialism. Communism is also an administrative form of socialism. You obviously do not understand what a corporation 'IS' legally (as is averse to your perception of what it does). If you need more clarification or more definitions, I can supply those to you.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Ron, Salem      
     -- Anonymous      
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